In poker you play against the other players at your table, and the aim of the game is to win the pot (the amount of money that everyone contributes to the pot before seeing their hands) by making the best five-card hand you can. To do this you need to understand the game’s rules and learn how to read other players’ tells, which are nonverbal cues they give off during the course of a hand.

To start with the cards are dealt out to each player, starting from the person to the left of the dealer. Each player then has the chance to check their own hand and then raise, call or fold. If you want to stay in your hand you say “stay” and the dealer will deal you another card. If you believe your hand is too weak in value, you can also “hit” which means asking the dealer to give you a new card.

After the first betting round is complete the dealer puts a third card face up on the board which anyone can use, this is called the flop. Then there is a fourth and final betting round which reveals the fifth community card, this is called the river.

After the last betting round players reveal their hands, and the player with the highest ranked hand wins the pot. In most cases you will have to pay an ante (amount varies by game, our games cost a nickel) just to get dealt your two cards. This creates a pot right away and encourages competition.